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Palma Violets: “If you ask who wrote the songs, it’s none of us”

The band unveil some of the secrets behind the making of ‘Danger In The Club’, in DIY’s newest issue.

No one can claim that Palma Violets don’t throw their all into the music that they make. With their debut ‘180’, they blazed a chaotic trail across the country, causing carnage at just about every venue that they happened to come across. Yet, sooner or later, something had to change - a second album had to come - and they had to knuckle down.

By mid-2014, they still didn’t have a bloody clue how to write songs. Any ability had firmly flown the nest. It wasn’t that they didn’t have any fully-fledged ideas - they didn’t have a single half-idea. The way these four recall the tale, it sounds as if the next step involved them being sent to Wales (perhaps against their will) by a tour manager, just after they closed out Reading Festival. Something had to give. So they re-located to the isolated, spiritually-struck Preseli Hills, the original source of Stonehenge’s bluestone. “So if you ask who wrote the songs, it’s none of us,” jokes Sam Fryer. “It’s the spirit of Wales. It’s something bigger than we can comprehend.”

With only a knackered telephone for outside communication, they began to settle into their new surroundings. A couple of “free folk”, as Pete Mayhew describes them, owned the area. “They do their own tai chi classes, naked,” claims drummer Will Doyle. The only musical inspiration they had was the couple’s ‘Sounds of the Desert’ cassette, which Sam describes as “really therapeutic… You can hear a parched camel, dying.”

In between writing and recording, the band were ordered to sleep facing West, so as not to awaken the spirits. “We all suffered from really intense dreams, didn’t we?” remembers Sam. “And we were told we were going to be suffering. That’s the kind of place it is - a spiritual bluestone.”

Read the full interview in DIY’s May issue, out 24th April. Palma Violets’ new album ‘Danger In The Club’ is out on 4th May via Rough Trade Records. Palma Violets will play Live At Leeds (1st - 4th May), where DIY is an official media partner. Tickets are on sale now. Visit diymag.com/presents for more information.

Tags: Palma Violets, News, From The Magazine

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